Tuesday, September 28, 2010

What up

Pretty much all I think about now is breast cancer.  From the moment I wake up to when I go to sleep, it's breast cancer.  All.  The.  Time.  A basic summary of what goes on in my anxiety-ridden mind: "Oh my God, I have cancer.  I HAVE CANCER."

One thing breast cancer has got me thinking about is death.  Before you gasp and go, "NO LARA, DON'T THINK LIKE THAT!"  Calm down, sparky.  I'm not thinking of my death.  I've been doing a lot of thinking about my mom's death.  When someone we love dies, it's hard to find meaning in their death.  It just seems so pointless.  Come October of this year, my mom will have been gone 23 years.  She died when I was 7 years old, back at a heart-breaking age when I thought death wasn't permanent and my mom would be coming back through the doors one day to give me a hug.  I had many good sobs when I realized she wasn't coming back.

What if my mom's death had a purpose?  What if it was to make sure I live a lot longer than she ever did?  (See, told you I wasn't thinking about my death like that.)  Because of my mom, I've been monitored like crazy for the past four or five years.  She was diagnosed at 35 and died at 40.  My boobs have been scrutinized by numerous medical professionals for years.  Nobody has ever told me, "Ahh, you're okay.  No need to worry about breast cancer."  Quite the opposite - I've had many doctors tell me I'm a complicated breast case (at least they didn't say complicated head case, though I am that too).

All this attention on my girls have been because of my mom's battle with breast cancer.  I've always been high risk for breast cancer and gone through a whole battery of tests for years now as a result.  Her death made it possible for my doctors to have years of pictures to study and work from.  Granted, if she had beat breast cancer, I would still be screened and monitored like I have been.  Still, I have to search for purpose during something like this because that's what gets you through the bad times.  You need something to hold onto and squeeze tight and right now, I'm holding on like hell to the fact my mom's death means my life will last much longer than hers did.  She has nine or ten years on me now, so the gauntlet has been thrown.  I do like a challenge and proving others wrong.

I want to emphasize that I don't think I'm brave or strong.  I'm actually quite the fraidy cat and weak, haha.  I'm just doing what I have to so I can be with my loved ones for however long that may be.  Life didn't stop when I found out I had breast cancer - it kept trucking along, and I have to keep going.  I will have my down moments and freak out from time to time, and pretty much most of you will never bear witness to that.  It's not how I acted pre cancer and it's not how I plan on behaving now.  I appreciate everyone's support and positive thoughts.  "The love inside, you take it with you."  I'll be taking all the love with me as I go through my cancer treatment.  Thank you.


  1. I know you must be so scared, but I think you seem incredibly strong and coherent for someone who just got a cancer diagnosis. If it were me I'd either be checked into detox or a mental institution by now.

  2. I think you would surprise yourself. When it's you versus the big scary cancer, you have no choice but to be bold and strong. The alternative is to lay down and die, and that's never an option.